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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Repaired Heated Vest

I had a member of the Twin Valley Riders give me a Aerostich Kanetsu Electric Vest. The vest had the wires messed up inside and I thought it would be a fun project to try and get it to work again. When I got the vest, someone had already removed the stitching along the bottom of the vest. I started by probing the wires in the vest with the multimeter to see if I can find the break in the wire. I found 2 breaks and one place where the wires had already been repaired. Still, there was another break somewhere. Locating these breaks were quite time consuming. I figured the wiring was too degraded to try and repair, so I measured how much wire Areostich used in the vest. I found 2 circuits each having exactly 15 feet of wire.

I ordered some 30 gauge Teflon insulated silver coated copper wire on eBay for under $5. At about this same time, I ordered a SAE Battery Fuse Cord from Areostich as I knew I was going to have to attach the vest to the motorcycle somehow and this seemed like the easiest way. When the wire came from eBay, I used one of my wife's sewing needles and threaded the thin 30 gauge wire through the eye of the needle. The vest has three layers, The outer fleece, the inner nylon and the center layer between the two, made out of cotton and there the heating wire is sandwiched. I then proceeded to sew the wire into the center cotton layer, following the wire that was already present. I sewed a total of 30 feet of wire. I cut the original wire from the crimp connectors and soldered the new wires to the existing crimp connectors. I wrapped the connectors in electrical tape, connected the vest to the bike battery and what do you know, it worked. I used an indoor/outdoor thermometer to see how much heat it was generating. Now, with the bike off, the vest heated up to about 90 degrees in about 3 minutes. I figure with the bike running, it should get a little warmer, but if you factor in the cold wind chill, it's hard to tell how warm it will keep me. I didn't have the bike running as I was in the basement with the bike. I finished by breaking out the wife's sewing machine and using pretty green thread, sewed up the bottom of the vest. Wrapped up the whole project and tucked it in one of the saddlebags, waiting for cooler weather.

That is pretty neat that you did that. After all that work I sure hope it works great for you in cold weather. Wish you the best of luck.
See how domestic you can be when you want to? I knew you could do it. I just love that pic of you behind the sewing machine!
~the Wife
See how domestic you can be when you want to be? I knew you could do it. I just love that pic of you behind the sewing machine!
~the Wife
I thought that that was cool that he would include the photo with the sewing machine. My husband has been known to get behind the sewing machine. When he was in the Air Force he would sew his own patches onto his shirts. It's nice when our husbands can do these things. And I can actually change the oil on our vehicles, if he ever wanted me to. We are now fighting over who gets to do the maintenance on MY motorcycle, lol.
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